“We Tell Ourselves Stories In Order to Live”

This was written by the writer Joan Didion in her essay in the book “the White Album.” Joan Didion died today at 87, leaving us with ideas and phrases, and a narrative all her own. As is true when any famous person dies, her remarks, and narratives, are all over the internet today. You can’t miss them.

A couple of weekends ago I spent two days cooped up in a small room with 6 other artists talking about ideas and where they come from, and how we pluck things from our own experiences to interpret in a visual way. It was illuminating in many ways as we talked about the traces we leave behind in our own work. Each agreed that no matter how abstract or singular a work seemed at completion, there was a narrative buried there somewhere.

“We live entirely by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the ‘ideas’ with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience.” Joan Didion again. I’m very taken with the notion of the imposition of visual experience, palimpsests of earlier experience piled on surfaces. I like to use and alter narratives, which possibly is easier to do visually than in writing…hard to say.

I’m preparing some work for the exhibit this spring of The Band of Artists Collective, on view March and April at The Annex at Bush Barn Art Center in Salem. The exhibit is called “Traces.” More on how it goes as work progresses…in the meantime, some images from my own narrative. Oh. And Happy Christmas.


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